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Marathon woman set to run 15 races in as many months

PUBLISHED: 17:00 05 March 2015

Kerry Whitney with pupils from Ickburgh School

Kerry Whitney with pupils from Ickburgh School

Archant

For most people, running one marathon is enough of a challenge.

Kerry WhitneyKerry Whitney

But an Arsenal football steward has set herself the epic task of running 15 marathons in 15 months for charity – including one blindfolded

Kerry Whitney, 34, of Portland Avenue in neighbouring Hackney, is taking on the project to raise £5,000 for Sense, a national charity that supports people with sensory impairments.

Kerry, who also works at Ickburgh School, in Kenworthy Road, Homerton, helping children with special needs, has already run two of the 15 marathons and is scheduled to run the third one in two weeks, taking place in Barcelona.

She said: “I’ve been fundraising for a number of years and running for a number of charities. It is something that is linked in with some of the conditions the children at school have. I want to make their lives better and help their families.

“I did the Brighton Marathon last year for Sense and it was just the one marathon I was planning on doing, but I was struggling halfway through. To take my mind off the pain I started thinking about running another marathon.”

Kerry came up with the idea of running the London Marathon blindfolded, which she is planning to do this year.

The former pub manager started running five years ago after she looked online to find something to do in London.

The move followed her career change to work at Ickburgh.

She said: “I knew nothing about running, I had never ran in my life and I just saw marathon on a search engine and signed up for it.

“The enjoyment comes from just having to focus on something and work really hard to achieve it. Since I have started doing it, it has grounded me and I have grown up.

She continued: “I appreciate my life a lot more; running has made me healthy and has given me a passion for wanting to help other people – which is one of the best things about it.

“I’m not a fast runner and I won’t break a record or win a race but it doesn’t matter; I’m still getting out there and doing it and I want to influence people who are thinking they want to do something similar or are too scared.”

Kerry said the children at Ickburgh were her inspiration and motivated her to keep running.

She said: “My life was completely different – I was a party girl. If I hadn’t started working here I don’t think any of this would be happening.

“When I first started working here, seeing some of the conditions our children are in, I’ve never seen them before in my life.

“Once I started to get to know their personalities it inspired me to want to do anything that I can that would make their lives a little bit more comfortable.”

Kerry also travels around the country hosting bingo nights, cake bakes and using a charity bucket to hit her target.

Despite all the sacrifices Kerry has made to train for the marathons she said it was worth the effort and praised her friends and colleagues for their support.

The challenge will culminate with a coastal marathon in December.

To sponsor Kerry, visit: uk.vriginmoneygiving.com/kerrywhitney.


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